Today was a really interesting and exciting day for me. Open Door Sligo – Connecting People, Place & Heritage in Sligo. They arrange for members of the public to see behind some of the most interesting buildings in Sligo. Today was the Masonic Lodge.
Now I must confess that I’ve always wondered about this building and what goes on behind the doors. In fact it always reminded me a bit like ‘Bate’s Motel’ in Psycho. So I absolutely jumped at the chance to go inside.
It is a fantastic building, I could honestly have spent the day in there. Not only did we get a tour of the building we also got a talk about the Freemasons given by Morgan McCreadie, who I have to say was both eloquent and amusing. I really had no idea about the Freemasons so it was brilliant to get an insight into the people involved.
I laughed when we were told one of their rules was only one jug of whiskey per meeting. They got over this problem by having 5 gallon jugs! The meetings run on rituals, if you are a member you have to turn up at each meeting. If you are late you have to knock three times and see if you are allowed in. They don’t allow women to become Freemasons but this dates back hundreds of years, I suppose the same with priests being men.
Their ethos is to be kind to people and do what you can for people, also to be tolerant and keep on the straight and narrow. There is the ‘all seeing eye’ and in the end you will have to answer for your actions and deeds. Little tools symbolise different things; their symbols is a builders square with a compass which arose from the loose organisation of medieval masons. The Freemasons also do a lot of fundraising for various charities, not only looking after their own members but charities outside the organisation. You can find out more about the Irish Freemasons here.
The next Sligo building to be open is Sligo Gaol which is on May 25th, sadly I’m away but will hopefully get to see it one day. The rest of my photos are here.